10/01/2013 5:37PM

Sheikh Mohammed's wife Princess Haya investigates illegal drugs seized on plane


Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the owner of Godolphin and the leader of Dubai, directed one of his wives to investigate details of a shipment of unlicensed veterinary products after they were seized from a private government jet registered in Dubai at a British airport on May 3, the British Guardian reported on Tuesday.

The wife, Princess Haya, the president of the International Federation of Equestrian Sports (FEI), was expected to meet with John Stevens, the head of the FEI’s Clean Sport Commission, to discuss the results of her investigation, the Guardian said. She had earlier sent out a directive to the “major components” of Sheikh Mohammed’s equine operations, including Godolphin and Darley, “to establish a centralized auditing system in order to maintain control over the purchase and movement of veterinary goods,” the Guardian said.

“I can assure you that Sheikh Mohammed was not aware of any such products in the cargo of any Dubai Royal Air Wing Flight into Stansted on that date,” a spokesperson for Princess Haya told the Guardian.

The products seized at the Stansted airport in Britain included “steroidal injections, anesthetics, and anti-inflammatories,” the Guardian said. A spokesperson for the British Horseracing Board told the Guardian that they believe that there is “no link between the seizure and the racing industry” and that “the products were not intended for use on Thoroughbreds.”

In August, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, a British regulatory agency, seized 124 products from Moorley Farm in Newmarket, a stable where Sheikh Mohammed’s endurance horses are boarded and trained. Jamie Punti Dachs, the trainer at the yard, said that all of the products were obtained legally. The VMD was also the agency that seized the products on the plane, fully three months prior to its raid on the Moorley yard.

In April, 22 horses owned by Godolphin and trained by Mahmood Al-Zarooni tested positive for anabolic steroids, leading to an eight-year ban for Al-Zarooni but no penalties for Godolphin.